In March 2020, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the country severely affected everyone in the US. GSMR, which began operations in 1988, uses a route which passes through "fertile valleys, a tunnel, and across river gorges" in the Great Smoky Mountains … All Rights Reserved. The line was completed to Dillsboro in 1883 and reached Andrews in 1890. American Heritage Railways The GSMR route uses a route which passes through "fertile valleys, a tunnel and across river gorges" in the Great Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina. The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad (formerly Railway) owns 53 miles (85 kilometers) of the Murphy Branch, a former branch line of the Southern Railway between Dillsboro and Andrews. Vice President / General Manager at Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Sylva, North Carolina 216 connections. The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad (formerly Railway) owns 53 miles (85 kilometers) of the Murphy Branch, a former branch line of the Southern Railway between Dillsboro and Andrews. -Allen C. Harper, Cheif Executive Officer-Chairman. The museum features a collection of over 7,000 Lionel model engines, cars and accessories, a large model train layout, a children’s activity center, and a gift shop. This is the first time in the railroad's history that a closure of this scale had to be made. The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, based in Bryson City, North Carolina offers spectacular scenic views of the North Carolina mountains for which it is named. In addition to her duties at GSMR Kim serves as the Vice President of Railroad Realty of North Carolina, LLC where she manages sixteen business lease properties in Bryson City, NC. Our sister railroad, the Durango and Silverton in Colorado is a narrow gauge railroad. [6], The famous train wreck scene in the 1993 Warner Brothers blockbuster movie The Fugitive starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones was filmed in Dillsboro along the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an American national park in the southeastern United States, with parts in Tennessee and North Carolina.The park straddles the ridgeline of the Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are a division of the larger Appalachian Mountain chain.The park contains some of the highest mountains in eastern North America, including … GSMR runs nearly 1,000 excursions each year. Consolidation type steam locomotive #1702, built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1942 for the U.S. Army during World War II, was acquired by GSMR in 1991. You can visit the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad website to find information about schedules and rates. Its assets include American railroad treasures, extensive land holdings, and valuable intellectual properties. America’s greatest era still lies ahead for future generations, but the road to that future can only be read by reading the map of our past: our history. The wreckage set can still be viewed on eastbound Tuckasegee River Excursions departing from Bryson City.[7]. With help of a team of investors, MacNeil secured the lease within 48 hours of the Norfolk Southern Railway dispatching work trains to the Murphy Branch to begin dismantling the track. The Little River Lumber Company bought over 80,000 acres of wilderness in what is now the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Access crossings, fiber optics, and development opportunities are regular business for the company. The rail company decided to avoid the rugged mountain route altogether by building 80 miles of new track from a point near Etowah, Tennessee to Marietta, Georgia. From 2000-2004, Kim served as Marketing Manager GSMR. This engine was originally slated to be moved to the GSMR in spring 2011. Currently there are 2 trips, both departing from Bryson City: The Nantahala Gorge ride is 44 miles along the Tuskasegee Rive,r over the Fontana Lake trestle and into the Nantahala River Gorge. Overall, though, we did enjoy the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad. Great Smoky Mountains Railroad 45 Mitchell St Bryson City ... Posted: (8 days ago) Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, also known as GSMR, is a transportation system that offers a range of pickup and drop services to mountaineers. Harper staved off the foreclosure for four months with an offer to buy the park out of bankruptcy for $7 million. In addition to that, a new turntable was built at Bryson City for #1702 to turn around for the return trip to Dillsboro during the Tuckasegee River excursion. In 2004, GSMR debuted its Polar Express train ride, based on the newly released movie and licensed through Warner Bros. Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. 479 Main Avenue Durango, CO 81301, © 2021 American Heritage Railways. The Great Smoky Mountains Railway operates today as the newly organized Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. Its current operations reach nearly 1,500,000 rail passengers annually through three directly owned railroads and through the licensing of special events at over 50 additional railroads. A new shop, especially built for the restoration, was completed the following year. It's a canvas of colors and a breath of fresh air, it's the Great Smoky Mountains! In a normal year, seasonal lodging facilities reopen in March, but this year put those openings on hold until mid-late May this year. Websites. Al Harper, Railroad Owner. History defines and documents the very character of our country. The railroad has five operational diesel locomotives, GP7s #711 and #777, GP9s #1751 and #1755, and GP30 #2467. Although it was hoped that the engine would be restored and returned to service, no definite plans were set. As Rail Events began to produce their own events Mike took the lead of the newly formed company Rail Events Productions in 2015. In March 2016 it was announced that #1702 would return to service that summer, which coincided with the construction and usage of a new turn-table for the locomotive near the depot in Bryson City. John currently serves as a board member on the FLC School of Business. Under his leadership, and in collaboration with his wife and co-owner Carol, American Heritage Railways owns and operates the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad in Durango, CO; the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad™ in Bryson City, North Carolina; and Rail Events, Inc., which coordinates licensed special events from major entertainment brands, event promotions, merchandising, and related … The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad (formerly Railway) owns 53 miles (85 kilometers) of the Murphy Branch, a former branch line of the Southern Railway between Dillsboro and Andrews. Administrative Offices were moved from Dillsboro to Bryson City, establishing it as the new hometown of the Railroad. 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